WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers and Fort Wayne Komets played a spirited game at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night. Unfortunately, the scoreboard favored the visiting squad, as the Komets scored four goals in the third period of a 7-3 victory. Gabriel Desjardins had a hat trick for Fort Wayne, while the Nailers got goals from Danny Fick, Freddie Tiffels, and Kevin Schulze.
The first period was filled with goals, as both teams found the net twice. Wheeling was the first squad to get on the scoreboard, doing so at the 4:26 mark. Chris Francis had his right circle shot denied, but the rebound kicked out into the slot, where it was hammered into the cage by Danny Fick. Less than three minutes later, the Komets pulled even. After a huge pad save, Mason Baptista found a loose puck in the slot, sliding in a backhander. Baptista set up the second Fort Wayne tally, which was scored by Louick Marcotte, who faked to his backhand to create the opening. With 1:18 to go in the stanza, the Nailers got the equalizer. Dylan Zink curled around the back of the net, before feeding Freddie Tiffels, who roofed a shot from the left side.
After the early offensive surge, only one goal was scored in the middle frame, as the Komets retook the lead. Dennis Kravchenko floated a pass to the front of the net, where Gabriel Desjardins deked from forehand to backhand, squeezing a shot through Adam Morrison's right arm.
Fort Wayne got a fortunate bounce early in the third, as Desjardins got credit for his second goal of the night. Wheeling closed the gap to one with a perfect pass by Nick Sorkin, who put the puck right on Kevin Schulze's stick for a tap-in. 33 seconds later, Desjardins completed his hat trick, ripping in a one-timer from the left dot. Trevor Cheek and Ryan Lowney stashed in two goals in a span of 28 seconds to put the wraps on a 7-3 Komets win.
Garrett Bartus got the win in goal for Fort Wayne, making 30 saves on 33 shots. Adam Morrison was the losing netminder for the Nailers, as he gave up seven goals on 39 shots.
The Nailers will finish their seven-game homestand on Tuesday night, when they face the Toledo Walleye at 7:05 on a Two-for-Tuesday (2 tickets for $22). After that, Wheeling will return home for Olympic Night on February 16th and Ladies Night on February 17th. The next big promotional game is Pittsburgh Penguins Night on March 10th. To purchase tickets, or to get more information about season tickets, flex plans, group tickets, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.